Great Card on the Singular Value of Competitive Academic Debate

Mississippi Business Journal, November 8, 2011

There is one high school activity that has a 100 percent positive impact on students and their schools as well as having a lifelong impact for the students. That is high school debating. . . . Every reason we send our children to school in the first place is what the art of debate teaches. It is what we hope is being taught in all of the classrooms. In fact, the success of a school’s debate team, it could be argued, could be the singular measuring stick of the success of the school. A debate team, as well as every student within a school, should be learning analytical skills. The ability to critically analyze a problem and propose workable solutions is invaluable. This is a skill that debate best teaches and high-level business people and professionals possess. A debate team, as well as every student, should be learning research skills. From traditional library research to the Internet, debate teaches you to become a world-class researcher. Ask any college student, and they’ll tell you how valuable this is. A debate team, as well as every student, should be learning listening and note-taking skills. Debate requires that you become a careful listener and good note taker. This helps students get better grades and learn faster. Many of this nation’s top lawyers, business executives, doctors, engineers, and elected leaders were involved in high school debate, and for good reason. Simply put, debate-related skills help one get ahead and stay there. The power to persuade is highly respected and there is no better way to master this art than through debate.

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